There is a theorem that states “an infinite amount of monkey hitting keys at random on a typewriter keyboard for an infinite amount of time will surely type any given text, such as the complete works of William Shakespeare.” The infinite monkey theorem is a mathematical term that a random endless sequence of letters and symbols will eventually perform any conceivable combination.
Thirteen days ago, one of the largest social experiments of our generation was formed: Twitch Plays Pokémon. The basis of the experiment was to see if more than 100,000 people could interact with the system and each other to accomplish a goal; in our case, becoming a Pokémon Master. However, it is believed that this social experiment will become a topic for a multitude of debates, analyses, and theories.
In thirteen days I witnessed the rise of an empire; the founding of a religion; the creation of gods and idols; the inner turmoil that exists between good and evil; a culture of art and stories; and the constant struggle for control and chaos. The worship given to the Helix Fossil paved way for a civilization and government to be formed that has, depending on your views, plagued or blessed social media and news sites.
And with these events, participants have witnessed the genocide of many members of the Pokémon team; the clashing of religions; the revolution of control and rebelliousness against government; and the division of society. With the greatness and joys of this civilization, many have also witnessed the darkness that plagues it.
In a mere few days, the best and worst of people have been illuminated in a children’s game from the 90s.
There is much social commentary that could be dissected and analyzed from what is occurring. And whether or not we look at faith vs. purpose or the representation of internal struggles being emulated by the masses, human history can be summarized to what occurred in less than two weeks.
This social experiment has also delved into the importance of the individual over the communal. It asks many questions on personal freedom and the good of the many. Whether the common good is worth the absolution of rights or privileges and if diplomacy and government can truly contain the chaos that lies within us.
Twitch Plays Pokémon is not a simply a social experiment on whether thousands of individuals can accomplish a given task; it is more than that. It is representation of all that we have accomplished and the frustrations and joys of life. It represents the faith of the world as it rides a solitary track to whatever the end goal may be.
The life that is brought to this game and the passion that is instilled by those who have played for a couple of minutes or for a couple of hours will not extinguish what has occurred. It has been the basis for complex discussions in not just the Pokémon Community, but in many different settings. It has brought to light the intricate balance of human thought and actions and the path that we have traversed to get here and the paths we may walk one day.
This social experiment has run rampant and yet has given many people the ability to look firsthand into the representation of human progress and chaos. It utilized a platform to display the nature and nurturing of human thought processes and let loose the internal beliefs and ideals that we strive to follow. And whether in the next couple of days we do accomplish the task given to us, what has been seen and done will forever pave the way for more answers and questions to the mind of men and women.